GW2 Traits Unlocking Guide

A guide to unlocking GW2 traits in the new system introduced with the April 15 Feature Patch.

Note: Characters created before April 15 Feature Patch only need to unlock Grandmaster XIII traits for each character. However, characters created after the April 15 Feature Patch will need to unlock every single one of their traits either via gold or the unlocking methods below


Gold + Skill Points

Traits can be unlocked either with gold + skill points or via one of the listed methods below. If you chose the gold route, head to your class trainer (there is one next to the Shaemoor Waypoint in Queensdale)

  • 10 silver + 2 skill points for each Adept Trait
  • 50 silver + 5 skill points for each Master Trait
  • 1g 50 silver + 10 skill points for each Grandmaster Trait
  • 3 gold + 20 skill points for the newest Grandmaster trait added with April 15 patch


While it is costly, this method can be handy if you find the unlocking requirements for the traits annoying. If you do decide to unlock the traits by doing the required activity, make sure you take advantage of the spyglass icon to locate the location of the activity.


Trait Line One

Corresponding Trait Lines

  • Guardian: Zeal
  • Warrior: Strength
  • Engineer: Explosives
  • Ranger: Marksmanship
  • Thief: Deadly Arts
  • Elementalist: Fire
  • Mesmer: Domination
  • Necromancer: Spite

I. Complete the Obsidian Sanctum jumping puzzle.

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II. Capture Inferno’s Needle.

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III. Earn 100% completion in Gendarran Fields.

  • Level 25-35 map

IV. Defeat Rhendak the Crazed.

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V. Earn 100% completion in Blazeridge Steppes.

  • Level 40-50 map

VI. Help Shining Blade Kimber defeat Kol Skullsmasher.

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VII. Befriend the ogre camp so they will join you as allies.

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VIII. Complete the Citadel of Flame in Story Mode.

  • Level 70+ dungeon

IX. Find the splendid chest in Rebel’s Seclusion.

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X. Defeat the Terror-Seven Krewe Leader.

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XI. Discover Death’s Anthem.

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XII. Defeat the Risen High Priest of Balthazar. 

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XIII. Defeat the Risen High Wizard and secure the Promenade of the Gods

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Trait Line Two

Corresponding Trait Lines

  • Guardian: Radiance
  • Warrior: Arms
  • Engineer: Firearms
  • Ranger: Skirmishing
  • Thief: Critical Strikes
  • Elementalist: Air
  • Mesmer: Dueling
  • Necromancer: Curses

I. Find the splendid chest in Earth’s Gap.

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II. Complete Twilight Arbor in Story Mode.

  • Level 50+

III. Defeat Ulgoth the Modniir and his minions.

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IV. Earn 100% completion in Lornar’s Pass.

  • Level 25-40 map

V. Kill Sharky the Destroyer in Arca Lake of the Harathi Hinterlands.

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VI. Defeat Elite Officer Jayne in the Brigantine Isles of Gendarran Fields 

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VII. Befriend the hylek camp so they will join you as allies.

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VIII. Find the grand chest in the Windy Cave.

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IX    Defeat the fire shaman and his minions.

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X     Complete the story step "Forging the Pact."

  • Level 62 personal story

XI     Complete the Crucible of Eternity in Story Mode.

  • Level 78+

XII     Find the grand chest near Scholar Fryxx.

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XIII    Defeat the Risen Priest of Grenth.

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Trait Line Three

Corresponding Trait Lines

  • Guardian: Valor
  • Warrior: Defense
  • Engineer: Inventions
  • Ranger: Wilderness Survival
  • Thief: Shadow Arts
  • Elementalist: Earth
  • Mesmer: Chaos
  • Necromancer: Death Magic

I. Defeat Fleshgrazer

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II. Complete the story step "The Battle for Claw Island."

  • Level 50 Personal Story

III. Capture Stonegaze Spire

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IV. Defeat Victurus the Shattered and his army

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V. Earn 100% completion in the Fields of Ruin.

  • Level 30-40 zone

VI. Defeat the Giant Blood Ooze in the Challdar Gorges of Bloodtide Coast.

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VII. Befriend the dredge camp so they will join you as allies.

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VIII. Complete Sorrow’s Embrace in Story Mode.

  • Level 60+

IX. Defeat Vidius Flame Tribune.

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X. Complete the story step "The Battle of Fort Trinity"

  • Level 70 Personal Story quest

XI. Find the locked door at the end of the forgotten stream.

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XII. Defeat the Risen Priest of Melandru

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XIII. Defeat the Karka Queen

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Trait Line Four

Corresponding Trait Lines

  • Guardian: Honor
  • Warrior: Tactics
  • Engineer: Alchemy
  • Ranger: Nature Magic
  • Thief: Acrobatics
  • Elementalist: Water
  • Mesmer: Inspiration
  • Necromancer: Blood Magic

I. Complete the story step "A Light in the Darkness."

  • Level 55 Personal Story

II. Capture Tytone Perch.

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III. Find the grand chest in Provernic Crypt

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IV. Earn 100% completion in Harathi Hinterlands.

  • Level 35-45 map

V. Defeat Gargantula, the spider broodmother in the Wynchona Woods of Harathi Hinterlands. 

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VI. Defeat the Krait Witch of Nonmoa Lake in Timberline Falls. 

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VII. Find the chest in Verarium Delves.

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VIII. Find the grand chest in Arundon Vale.

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IX. Defeat the dredge commissar

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X. Complete the story step "The Source of Orr."

  • Level 80 Personal Story

XI. Complete Honor of the Waves in Story Mode.

  • Level 76+

XII. Defeat the Statue of Dwayna.

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XIII. Find the grand chest in the Ship of Sorrows.

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Trait Line Five

Corresponding Trait Lines

  • Guardian: Virtue
  • Warrior: Discipline
  • Engineer: Tools
  • Ranger: Beastmastery
  • Thief: Trickery
  • Elementalist: Arcana
  • Mesmer: Illusions
  • Necromancer: Soul Reaping

I. Complete Caudecus’s Manor in Story Mode.

  • Level 40+

II. Kill the Foulbear chieftain and her elite guards.

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III. Complete the story step "Retribution."

  • Level 59 Personal Story

IV. Earn 100% completion in Dredgehaunt Cliffs

  • Level 40-50 zone

V. Defeat the Champion Ice Wurm at Posternus Caverns in Lornar’s Pass 

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VI. Defeat Lord Ignius the Eternal of Lornar’s Pass

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VII. Defeat Vexa and her golem in Vexa’s Lab

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VIII. Defeat the Infinity Coil Commander and capture the Infinity Coil.

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IX. Defeat Admiral Taidha Covington

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X. Defeat the Branded Devourer Queen.

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XI. Defeat the Overgrown Grub.

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XII. Complete the Ruined City of Arah in Story Mode.

  • Level 80

XIII. Defeat the corrupted high priestess of Lyssa

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By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

22 replies on “GW2 Traits Unlocking Guide”

A small explanation please, do we have to do ALL of the requirement from I to XIII for each trait line to unlock the grandmaster trait?

After reading an article on the pale tree i have to agree that some of the things you have to go after to unlock this stuff is messed up… as an example the trait line 5, trait 6 is 100% explore on frostgorge sound. The problem is that people will only be somewhere around lvl 30 to 60, as its an adept trait and you have to fully explore a lvl 70-80 zone. There are several other things that are messes up with the adept unlocks. Personally, I think it would have made more sence if trait one and two were in the 30s, trait 3 and 4 were in the 40s and trait 5 and 6 were in the 50s… the master and grandmaster traits seems to be somewhat ok but what is with the new grand master in the middle of the sea of sorrow? Seems really out of place.

Hard to unlock skill XIII in trait skill line 5 right now: Lyssa is never up on my mega-server (defense event is always done) and it’s not possible to guest anymore because of mega-servers. Moreover, it is really hard to communicate with ppl because of the new chat option (which should clearly not be enabled by default).

Hope that the other traits can be properly unlocked.

That is the point. They checked their metrics, see what people does the most and the least, and selected many things not many people do. To encourage people to do them.

I have a lvl 21 Guardian that I created before the patch on April 15th. Will he need to “unlock” traits via the new system or will he be grandfathered in and get all of the traits for free once he reaches the appropriate level?

I used some level-up books to reach lvl 30 and I can confirm that traits, except for #XIII, are unlocked for a character made before the 15th.

When I conquer Needle’s Inferno with my uplevelled level 10 character, will that unlock a trait, at least later on when I get to level 30? Or must I do it again?

Ok, tried it out. It works. You *can* unlock a trait even below level 30, that is, even when you have not access to the list of traits. It leads to a weird buggy-looking presentation in the UI: When you click on the wobbling hexagon over the minimap (which advertised that you have just unlocked a trait), the Hero Screen opens and tries to present you the trait – but it can’t, because it is locked below level 30. So it presents skills instead which have nothing to do with the just unlocked trait.

one thing to watch out for, if your unlocking the traits that require story step and your assisting someone else. as in they opened the instance and you joined them and choose to accept the results. it will not unlock the trait.

Everyone says you only need to unlock grandmaster traits in you created your character before April 15, I created my character before then and he is now level 43, but not still says I need to unlock Master traits? I can’t put my 3rd point into strength.

You can’t put points into master tier until level 60. But you don’t have to go and individually unlock the trait skills. Level 80 for grandmaster.

I hate this new system. I’m a new player as well but in the old system you unlocked access to master tier at level 40 then grandmaster at level 60. This stupid new trait system just makes the whole damn game slower and more boring.

Ranger’s Steady Focus (blue, defeat Fleshgrazer) Trait from Marksmanship is incorrectly placed in your guide’s Wilderness Survival. It should be in Marksmanship.

What would be much more useful is for this guide to list the traits in order of difficulty. We can already get this list from the wiki…

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